Jeri's  garden style:

Hopalong Hollowscaping


Jeri's Gardens

I am an enthusiastic, dedicated ,amateur gardener. I love to lanscape, but have no training. I have learned to do things in my own rustic, old- fashioned way, using images from my imagination and my books to create my own garden style... I call it

Hopalong Hollowscaping.


    I plan and plan. I  compost and plant, fertilize, water , mulch and then I cross my fingers and hope for the best. What is it about gardening that people love so much? It is hard dirty work, what with all that sweating and hoeing and digging and bending,,, and did I mention sweating? But there is  something soothing about turning the soil with a spade, the aroma of the rich black earth , the texture of the loam and the discovery of  the small beginnings of last years perennial  reemerging from the seemingly barren earth... the firm, thick, single blade of a tulip poking its way above ground...all satisfying little accomplishments  to a gardener.

    Planting a garden is like creating a painting. You start with an idea and a blank canvas. Then you apply shapes, colors , designs... and many brushstrokes later you have it. It is either a shriveled-up mess, or something completely glorious! And there are always happy little surprises. Like those tiny "forget me not " seeds you "forgot" you planted, and suddenly tiny blue flowers are everywhere! It is worth the time and energy spent. Everyone with a heart, loves a garden!

     No matter how tiny it is.














Butterfly bushes

Illustration from "The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom"  Jeri Landers copyright 2007

Stone walls. rustic wooden fences and old style buildings are the bones of Hopalong Hollowscaping.


I actually spent more time this year PAINTING flowers than planting them, but you can see that life imitates art... and visa versa.


artwork is from "The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom" Jeri Landers copyright 2007

Aren't Foxgloves one of the most beautiful old fashioned flowers you can think of? I am so thrilled with these, but they just don't last long. And as far as self seeding, that has never happened for me. (I think the chickens have something to do with that) I must replant new foxgloves every year.


A little shrew likes gardening too!

Bzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!! We will discuss bees very soon.

     In 2007, I moved my sheep and goats to a new area, and was left with a meadow full of nutrients and the promise  of a wonderful new garden! This is a large area and  I wanted to create an English Cottage/ French country/ Early American garden here. That means a Hopalong Hollow garden. I really had my work cut out for me! It looked exceedingly dreary and desolate , but I envisioned something like a "Secret Garden"  with  rose covered arbors, pergolas, stone walls, wattle fences, brick walkways, and foxgloves galore! Although I do have a terrible time growing foxgloves. Here is what I had to work with.

January ,those are the turkey boys, Gus and Woodrow

In Hopalong Hollowscaping we have three items  we use consistently. I call them BST< Brick, Stone, and Timber. I  used some 160 year old bricks which were provided for me from a friends home renovation. James is started a 20' trellis screen  to run along a border and my little ducks are assisted me in eliminating pesky grubs.    .



Trudy Webbytoes eagerly anticipates the next fat, tasty grub.

Ducks love to garden, almost as much as chickens do. The only problem is... they love to devour your worms as much as they enjoy the grubs.

Trudy is also a character in my book, "The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom"

 The new steps and walkway. I attempt to make everything look like it has been here as long as the house, over a century. Using a lot of moss really helps create that look. I like the beat-up, rustic look .


 I am always amused at those DIY shows..... where they have a crew of 3o, a landscaper, a stonemason, carpenters and gardeners.... Who do they think they are kidding??? Around here, we REALLY do  "do it ourselves" With a crew of two: James and myself.

I cut these pickets with my trusty jigsaw..130 of them! I only need to cut 240 more, to finish the fence around the front of house.

In March 2008

Things were coming right along.....

Someone is laying her eggs in the lavender.





   I am an earth mover and a builder of stone walls and wattle fences. I can't tell you how many carts of  sand, mulch, muck and earth I have hauled around this place over the years. And stones,,, let me tell you about stones. I collect them from everywhere: the hollow, the creek, the woods .the side of the road,,,,, heck, I have been know to dig them out of the earth if I see so much as the tip of a promising rock poking out of the soil. I do this because I LOVE stone walls and put them up everywhere!  Who  gets excited to see someone tearing out an old sidewalk? I do! Because old concrete chunks make great walls.... I just built a 20ft. wall using the broken concrete from a local church sidewalk. These walls have a look of antiquity and are a great way to recycle. 


May of 2008

                     Bedding plants and seeds had just been planted in this new Perennial shade garden


they began taking nicely


Bluebirds  moved into these little houses atop the gate posts.

 And Pitty Pat had hatched 5 Baby ducklings!

Meanwhile, in the front yard garden...


Miss Mulberry and Henny Penny helped me dig a new garden bed in the front of the house. This bed would eventually take over the entire front yard. HURRAH!



     The Morning Glories began to pour over the trellis James built. In the background and you can see our "Quilt block" It is part of the Appalachian Quilt Trail. I used house paints to create the "WHIG ROSE" pattern, size is 8'x8'

There are 3 more of these quilt blocks on different studios up our road, each block is different.

February 2009

 A new year in the garden and I was anticipating  an incredible Spring showing. In the fall I planted literally thousands of bulbs. Muscari, daffodils, alium, bluebells, crocus, and of course, tulips. I am especially looking forward to the BLUE Tulips! I hope those darn chickens didn't decimate them.... if they did... they better beware!

April is here, and so are the blooms!

I do not see any BLUE tulips!

"Don't Look at me, I didn't eat them!"

Nor did I!              

Hmmm, this guy looks suspicious......

Oh Well, It is lovely anyway.

I am so proud of this plum tree... it is the only fruit producer we had success with that year. I vowed to make the others healthy and vigorous... if it's the last thing I do!


A word about Morning Glories. They look stunning pouring over a trellis,  a stone wall, a fence, or climbing up post to reach a birdhouse. One packet of morning glories will get you plants for the rest of your life because they reseed like nobody's business. And although they can be invasive, so what, just yank up the strays,collect  the seeds and toss them elsewhere.


Remember this from January 2008? It's starting  to look much better, of course, nothing is blooming in this photo, but that is why it is important to combine plants of various heights, leaf shapes and colors. That way, even when not in bloom, it is attractive.

That wonderful mossy brick walkway, we love moss. If you can get moss to make an appearance on your stonework, your fences and your statues, you are well on your way to Hopalong Hollowscaping.


This front yard garden gets bigger every year, soon it will take over the entire front yard.

Below is a perfect example of Hopalong Hollowscaping. Putting to use my favorite items: old salvaged brick, found natural stone, handcut picket fencing and timbers, gives me the old world look I love so much. It doesn't hurt to have a goose on the premises either.

Fiona amidst the flowers....she is a Mona Lisa of the goose kind .


It is June, and one of my gardens has finally taken over the front yard, wow!

No matter which garden you visit, you will always have some company. This is Sasha; she is 12 years old.

Attila, a goose who really lives up to his name. Hamish, is a loudmouth and a bit of a coward. Ivan is very noble and has a kind face with soft eyes.

Trudy Webbytoes and Winston are 2 of my very wonderful, happy and delightful little duckies.

The garden above is presenting s tall lemon yellow snapdragons. I love the look of tall spires of flowers, such as delphiniums and foxgloves, but they have such a short blooming season. Snapdragons have the same look, but bloom continuously all summer long. Unfortunately, I have never seen them in shades of purple.

Here is the same garden, different year, this time, we have bee balm, sedum, iris and coneflowers blooming.

In Hopalong Hollowscaping, we never pass up a cast iron bird..

Are these not just wonderful??? I got an even dozen for a steal!  They can be used for propping up wobbly plants, marking garden areas, or just poked in the earth for fun.

This garden is next to my potting shed. All of my gardens are wild and crazy cottage gardens. I try to grow EVERYTHING,  but have problems with lavender and roses. But never shall I give up.

The mossy garden path. This garden has come a long way since 2008, when it was a goat and sheep meadow.

Here, let me give you another view.

and here

and here.


Of course, when you visit my gardens here in Hopalong Hollow, you will probably run into Fiona Goosefeathers. She loves to stroll the gardens and will give you a garden tour whenever you like. But please be sure to bring her a slice of wholewheat bread.

She may be wearing her favorite bonnet....

She is also a character in my 3rd book. She was such a divine model...remember, Mona Lisa.

Maybe you will run into the Peabody Boys, Moses and Hans;

Unless they are hanging out on the porch;

or peeking into the parlor window.

Do chickens misbehave in the garden? Of course they do! But still....Aren't they charming?

My beautiful Buff Orpingtons are hanging out in the newest herb garden plot.

Yes and yes, chickens DO belong in the garden. More on that later.

The Potager


This  Potager garden was built using salvaged brick bats, old timbers from our bridge,

 stone and railroad ties. It is right off the porch, which is very convenient for plucking a hand full of parsley or cilantro for cooking.

Do you want a wonderful olde look to your garden? Look for used brick, salvaged brick and broken brick. Use it everywhere!

We plant bulbs deeply in this garden. They will fill it with blooms in early Spring  long before the  herbs and produce appear.

In the spring I planted roses and herbs in this potager area. On the far end are strawberries , tomatoes, peas, and cukes. Once again, I have used brick, stone, timber and these old cast iron fence sections. Is this a tidy garden, no... it is a Hopalong Hollow Garden.

To see how this 2 projects were completed, visit my blog here:

and go to the September post entitled " Moving Earth and Stones"

On to page 2


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